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Community Rules and Requirements
Content Disclaimer
Unless expressly stated, the views presented in BHTalk should not be construed as representing the opinions or policies of BHTalk Team, Community Administrators, Group Leaders, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Guidelines and objectives governing the community are subject to change without notice at the discretion of the Community Administrators or SAMHSA.

BHTalk, its Administrators and Group Leaders, SAMHSA, and HHS are not responsible for the information contained in off-site links and are not responsible for any damage incurred by clicking off off-site links.

Federal Employees
Federal employees are welcome to participate in BHTalk. However, Federal employees may not represent their agency in any discussion. All views expressed by Federal employees are those of the individual employee and not of SAMHSA or HHS.
Prohibited Behaviors
The following behaviors are strictly prohibited, and will result in immediate and permanent ban from BHTalk.

  • No offensive posts, links, or images. This includes messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually orientated, hateful, threatening, racist, sexist, discriminatory, or otherwise in violation of any local or international laws. This includes links in your signature, profile, bookmarks as well as posted images, photos and avatars. Racism, egregious personal attacks, violence and graphic sexuality of any sort is not acceptable, even if the content is hidden by our censoring system. Quoting such items as posted by another member is also not allowed.
  • No profanity. We utilize a censoring system to hide language and content that is not suitable for universal consumption. Attempting to circumvent our censoring system, utilizing acronyms and slight spelling alterations of profanity in order to circumvent the censoring system will not be tolerated and will be treated as if the actual word was used. This includes replacing letters with symbols, other characters, adding spaces between letters or any other changes as long as the original intent is clear.
  • No spamming. Spamming includes but is not limited to frequently posting or reposting irrelevant or otherwise inappropriate content, blatant self-promotion, advertising, and unnecessary bumping of forum topics (i.e., posting something new in an existing forum thread purely to move it to the top of the list of forum content). Posts that include URLs or contact information as part of an event announcement or explanation of a promising practice or best practice within a program are acceptable, but posts submitted solely for the purpose of promoting a product or service will be rejected or censored. Likewise, posts that include questionnaires for private or commercial research projects also will be deleted. Do not double-post or cross-post the same message in multiple boards. Do not mass-private message or mass-email multiple members of this site the same message. Do not post for the sake of increasing your post count or hack count.
  • No trolling or flaming. Trolling includes but is not limited to posting inflammatory or offensive content that is geared toward promoting arguments, dissent, or other nonconstructive behaviors. Flaming includes but is not limited to messages that harass, insult, belittle, or threaten another member, as well as shouting in the forum with the use of totally UPPERCASE sentences in your topic, title, or post.
  • No posting other members’ contact details or personal information. This includes phone numbers, postal or e-mail addresses, photos, online aliases, or other information.
  • No scamming or otherwise illegal behaviors. We have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to catch those engaged in criminal behavior on this web site.
General Rules of Conduct
BHTalk exists to serve as a forum for learning, sharing, and collaborating. Each member is responsible for understanding and adhering to the community rules. These rules exist to protect the community as a whole and to prevent abuse, conflict, and disharmony within BHTalk and its individual groups. Group Leaders may provide additional guidelines to govern conduct in an individual group; any group-specific guidelines should be viewed as a supplement to, not a replacement for, the overall BHTalk Guidelines.

Community administrators and Group Leaders reserve the right to remove, edit, move, or close any forum discussion thread or post (including blog comments), or suspend or ban any member for any breach of the rules or for any reason with or without warning or notice.

Account Rules
User Name Restrictions. Do not register names with excessive special characters, especially '' and @, or any names that may be misleading. Examples include registering a name containing “admin” or “administrator.” Registering names that resemble a member of the Community Administration Team will result in the account being renamed or deleted without notice.

Avatars. Avatars must not focus on: Sexuality, political affiliation, ethnicity, religion, violence, etc. Language and images in avatars must also conform to all Community moderation guidelines.

Multiple screen names. Multiple screen names, while not encouraged, are not a reportable offense, and such reports will be denied. However, screen names clearly created to report abuse, rate or incite discord in the Community are not permitted. Screen names determined to be created solely for these purposes will be removed from the Community.

Basic Group Etiquette
Each group may have its own set of rules in addition to the overall community guidelines. Please read and follow those rules. Following are standard Web etiquette (“netiquette”) guidelines.
  • Post content in the appropriate place. For instance, use the Resource Library, NOT the discussion forum, to upload files for others to use. To start a discussion, post to the discussion forum not a blog comment thread.
  • Do not start discussion threads or leave blog comments directed solely towards another member. Use the private message function to contact individuals.
  • Read all of the posts in a thread before replying to a topic. Avoid posts whose sole content is “Me too!” or “Thanks.” Private messages are more appropriate for short comments that do not add to the discussion so it’s easier for people to follow the conversation.
  • Remember your audience when posting new content or replying to existing remarks. Some remarks may be inappropriate or misdirected depending on the specific group.
  • Create clear and specific subjects/titles for any forum discussion you start. “I have a question” is not useful, but “Difference between trauma-informed care and trauma-specific interventions?” tells other group members exactly what you need to know.
  • If the topic of discussion changes in a forum discussion (thread), start a new discussion with a clear subject/title so others can find your content.
  • Keep the use of colored text, bolding, italics, etc., to a minimum. Too much formatting makes your content difficult to read, especially for those with visual impairment.
  • Do not post in all capital letters. Posting in all caps is considered yelling, and is not only impolite but also hard to read.
For more on netiquette, see the Wikipedia article on the term.

Content Format
English is the preferred language for forum postings, blog articles, and resource materials unless they are specific to another language. The Community Administrators and Group Leaders will not translate your posts into English. Use standard capitalization, spelling, and punctuation for ease of reading. Do not type your message in ALL CAPS, which is considered shouting online.

Off-Topic Content
BHTalk is a tool for constructive discussion on issues relating to SAMHSA and the behavioral health field at large. Administrators and Group Leaders reserve the right to remove any message or message segment and to terminate discussion on any topic that appears to be inappropriate and that falls outside stated purpose of the community.

Off-Site Links
Off-site links are permitted as long as they are relevant to the subject being discussed in a thread. Off-site links to sites that do not conform to Community moderation rules are not allowed. Repeated posting of off-site links in a manner that is not relevant or paired with coinciding content is considered spamming and is not allowed.

Copyright-Protected Material
If you didn’t create a piece of content, you are not the copyright holder. Do not post any text, images, audio, or video that you or your organization did not create unless you have express permission to do so. Even if you attribute the content (which you should), you may still be infringing on the author’s copyright. Instead, describe the piece of content you want to share and provide a link to it. When posting approved information from another source, please cite the source’s full title, author, and year of publication for the benefit of all BHTalk members.

Reporting Abuse
All BHTalk Members have the option to report abuse for posts containing one or more of the following: Offensive or obscene language, personal attacks, racist characterizations, ethnic slurs, sexist commentary, pornographic content, commercial advertising, stalking, inappropriate slurs or impersonating another person or entity. All reported abuse posts will be reviewed by an administrator.

Private Message Restrictions
Abuse of the private message option, including harassment, will not be tolerated. Members who abuse private messages to harass, spam, or otherwise bother other members are subject to banning.

The BHTalk Community Team and Group Leaders will not rent, sell, or share personal information that resides on the web forum, nor do the BHTalk Community Team and Group Leaders post participants’ e-mail addresses and other personal information.

It is strictly prohibited for anyone to put a participant of this forum on a commercial or private e-mail list without first securing permission from that person in writing. Violators will be suspended or terminated from the forum.


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